While we think that all of Tuscany is pretty marvelous, the Castles and Villas that pepper the beautiful landscape lend to the magical appeal of Italy and tell a deeper story of Italian history for the intrepid traveler. There are a number of charming small towns all over the region, but today we are focusing on five castles that invoke a fairy-tale like atmosphere. Many of them double as event locations, are abandoned or produce wine, and continue to be well-worth visiting.
Verrazzano Castle in Greve in Chianti (Florence)
Nestled in the famous area of Chianti Classico, known for the splendid rolling hills and extensive vineyards. Once an Etruscan and later Roman settlement, there has long been a tradition of wine-making here dating back to 1150 and the current vineyards cover over 43 hectares. It became the property of the Verrazzano family in the VII century, the great Giovanni da Verrazzano was a famous explorer who discovered the bay of New York with the famous bridge in New York between Brooklyn and Staten Island named after him in 1964. The Cappellini family took over the Castle in 1958 and restored the structure to its former glory. Nowadays visitors can tour the property and taste wine.
Castello di Verrazzano, Via Castello di Verrazzano, 1, 50022 Greve In Chianti, Firenze. Phone:+39 055 854243
Vincigliata Castle, Located in Fiesole
A beautiful location that was once part of the Vinsdomini and Alessandri families, dating back to 1031. It was the battleground of numerous powerful Florentine families and underwent a serious decline in the 17th century before catching the interest of a distinguished English gentleman going by the name of John Temple Leader. With ten years of work and the help of artisans, glass-makers, sculptors and antiquarians – they restored the splendid place into its former glory. Currently it used for weddings and private events.
Castello di Vincigliata, Via di Vincigliata, 21 50014 Fiesole, Firenze. Phone: +39.055.599.556
One of the most stupendous locations in all of Italy is the beautiful, extravagant and mysterious Sammezzano castle, located 40 kilometers south of Florence. Constructed in 1605 by Spanish nobility for Ximenes of Arago in its later years it has undergone various ownership and even was a luxury hotel at one point. The interior is breathtaking, displaying a eclectic Moorish style with over 360 rooms in total, each one different than the next. In order to visit, follow the events on their dedicated facebook page.
Sammezzano Castle, Località Sammezzano, 50066 Leccio, Reggello, Firenze.
Tuscany is a wonderful region, full of ancient villages and a land full of splendid, well-preserved castles.
Perched on mountains, hidden in the city center, overlooking the sea or gently perched on a hill, they are the most sought-after tourist destinations.
These ancient castles are real gems of the past that continue to thrive even today.
Witnesses of Tuscan history and nobility. Castles are ideal to visit with your sweetheart or with children, it will seem like you are living in a fairy tale.
Some also offer the possibility to stay overnight in them, in others you can even celebrate weddings or receptions.
If you open the map of Tuscany you can trace the route towards the “Strada dei Castelli”. Let yourself be inspired by these imposing timeless buildings and by what their walls, decorations and tapestries tell you.
First of all the castle of Romena located in the municipality of Pratovecchio Stia.
This monumental and massive architectural work belongs to the Guidi del Casentino counts and is located on a hill of 626 meters.
It is made up of three large fortified towers and has various parts of fortified circles built several times between the 11th and 14th centuries.
Very nice to visit is the Malaspina castle in Fosdinovo, it is the best preserved castle in Lunigiana, and also the largest. It is located in the municipality of Fosdinovo in the province of Massa Carrara.
It is possible to stay there and can be visited through the guided tour service.
One of the most beautiful Tuscan castles is the Castello di Oliveto, often the setting for ceremonies and receptions.
It dates back to the 15th century and was built by the noble Pucci family.
Going to visit this castle you will have the opportunity to stay in old farmhouses that dominate the company’s vineyards.
The Verrucole fortress is located in San Romano in Garfagnana in the province of Lucca. The first evidence of its presence on Tuscan soil dates back to the Middle Ages, now nothing remains of the medieval fortress, in fact what you can see today dates back to the Este period.
It was a military garrison for 400 years by the Este dukes of Ferrara-Modena and Reggio. Forte Stella in Porto Ercole is a star-shaped fort surrounded by a moat which is accessed via a drawbridge, children enter for free. Walking along the walkways allows you to admire a splendid panorama.
If you love scary legends then the castle to visit absolutely is the Castello di Brolio, present for 10 centuries in the southern part of the Chianti Classico.
In fact, according to local legend, the ghost of Bettino Ricasoli wanders around on full moon nights.
It is said that he walks on horseback or alone followed by his hunting dogs. In addition to this it seems that the baron’s bed after his death was unmade several times just as if there were signs of his presence.
The owner family still lives inside the castle of Brolio and it is possible to visit it in all its beauty.
For those with children there are many interesting activities such as a double visit to the gardens and the museum.
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